Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

U2 returning to Island home

Bono of U2 performs on stage.

Rock superstars U2 are to go back to their spiritual home by returning to the record label that discovered them in the 1970s.

The band left Island Records more than seven years ago, unhappy with the way they were being treated.

But the Irish quartet are now planning their return to the label for a new album next year.

U2 had a long and celebrated association with Island - which has also been home to acts such as Bob Marley, Grace Jones and Tom Waits - after being signed in the late 1970s.

But the relationship soured after label boss Jason Iley was moved to sister label Mercury and, unhappy with the lack of personal involvement from his successor, the group left the company to follow their former boss.

Earlier this year the parent company Universal closed down Mercury, moving many of the acts to a new company, Virgin/EMI, although a question mark remained over where U2 would end up, with the band and record labels remaining silent on what would happen.

But a source has confirmed the band will head back to Island, which has had a change of management since their departure. "They are going back to their spiritual home," the source said.

U2 displayed their affection for the label by continuing to include its logo on their releases even though they had headed to Mercury.

The band - led by Bono - are understood to have already visited the label to meet some staff.

A spokeswoman for Universal said there was "nothing to report", and a spokesman for Island did not respond.

U2 recently split from their long-time manager Paul McGuinness, moving instead to work with Live Nation.

A message on the band's website earlier this month said: "Paul has saved us from ourselves many times over and we would not be U2 without him.

"Sometime soon, U2 will begin a new adventure around the world and we totally understand and respect Paul's desire to not run away with the circus - AGAIN."

The follow-up to 2009's No Line On The Horizon is expected to be released around March.

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